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Was Tiger Good For Golf?


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I've been thinking about this for a few days alongside a few other threads we have going here about the state of the game. Looking back, was the Tiger Woods phenomenon good for golf? Most people, especially industry insiders probably will say yes, he grew the game and introduced new casual fans that never followed golf before.

 

But what about the flip side? Did Tiger's ascension create a golf bubble, an unsustainable popularity growth that his since popped?

 

Is all this talk of the state of the game caused by a large loss of golfers that might have just been riding the wave of Tiger's popularity? Is the game not really in trouble, but just leveling out?

 

It seems to me the game of golf isn't in trouble at all, but the golf industry might be. They placed their bets on a bubble and now its popped and they are scrambling to cover their asses.

 

New club releases were once a year, maybe even a 2-year cycle which have now become a dizzying 6-month cycle. A new driver bought in May is now obsolete by September.

 

Real estate developers also got caught up in the frenzy, throwing up cheap houses surrounding a golf course which now 15 years later are both showing the effects of the popping of the Tiger and Housing bubbles respectively.

 

 

So, did the industry just get greedy and bring this on themselves?

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Yes he was. For starters he's one of the greatest players ever and it was a joy to watch him play. He did in fact introduce the game to lots of new people some of whom still are playing. I would guess that we have some folks in our MGS community who came to golf because of Tiger.

 

He's not responsible for the OEMs and housing developers that got carried away. Tiger was good for golf.

 

Since he's very polarizing my guess is that the answers to your question will fall out according to whether the poster loves or hates Tiger. I will be clear that I grew up a Jack Nicklaus fan who never wanted to see Tiger surpass his majors record. But I'm hardly a Tiger hater.

 

He was good for the game. The numbers of new golfers during his prime don't lie.

 

 

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I would say that TW was good for the game. I'm not sure it's fair to put "the game" on his shoulders. I would agree that introducing clubs so rapidly was not a good policy and anyone could see the results of that policy still being felt today. And let's be honest, if anyone can capitalize off a trend they will... do the housing market is its own mess... there is a lot of blame to go around on that topic, certainly of which golf should be a minor culprit?!

I think for the vast majority of his career TW was the needle and brought many positive changes to the game but he was not perfect... he was simply a guy who played golf extremely well!

 

 

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Tiger definitely grew the game but I don't see how he can be blamed for the other two issues.

 

If anything, I blame Taylormade, who wasn't associated with Tiger at the time for starting the whole 6 month release intervals thing.

 

Real estate is its own thing Tiger had nothing to do with.

 

Both are just examples of people trying to make as much money as they figure they can milk out of others

 

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I've been thinking about this for a few days alongside a few other threads we have going here about the state of the game. Looking back, was the Tiger Woods phenomenon good for golf? Most people, especially industry insiders probably will say yes, he grew the game and introduced new casual fans that never followed golf before.

 

But what about the flip side? Did Tiger's ascension create a golf bubble, an unsustainable popularity growth that his since popped?

 

Is all this talk of the state of the game caused by a large loss of golfers that might have just been riding the wave of Tiger's popularity? Is the game not really in trouble, but just leveling out?

 

It seems to me the game of golf isn't in trouble at all, but the golf industry might be. They placed their bets on a bubble and now its popped and they are scrambling to cover their asses.

 

New club releases were once a year, maybe even a 2-year cycle which have now become a dizzying 6-month cycle. A new driver bought in May is now obsolete by September.

 

Real estate developers also got caught up in the frenzy, throwing up cheap houses surrounding a golf course which now 15 years later are both showing the effects of the popping of the Tiger and Housing bubbles respectively.

 

 

So, did the industry just get greedy and bring this on themselves?

 

In short, yes - Tiger was good for golf. Anyone who captures the imagination of the public with such a flair for the game is fantastic. His winning streak was a sponsors dream too, but despite all the hype he did most of his winning with very traditional equipment - good old blades and and a no frills putter.

Whatever your perspective is on what happened in the subsequent years, largely from an industry riding on the strength of his success, is open to debate. 

Did he single-handedly create a property boom and bust? No. Did he create an equipment boom and bust? No. Did he he create a new generation of people who didn't necessarily look at golf as "cool"? You bet. 

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He sure was.Before him,I grew up in the Palmer -Nicklaus era.Now there is absolutely no one that people relate with.This is another reason why golf is dwindling.The pro sport itself just doesn't have that appeal that it once had.This current crop of pros are better players.I just don't care to really watch them.

Keep it in the short stuff

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Yes absolutely he was good for golf. His brand and his name around the world is right up there with Jordan and Kobe

 

 

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He sure was.Before him,I grew up in the Palmer -Nicklaus era.Now there is absolutely no one that people relate with.This is another reason why golf is dwindling.The pro sport itself just doesn't have that appeal that it once had.This current crop of pros are better players.I just don't care to really watch them.

I don't know that I would go that far. There are certainly more really good players now than there were in the time between Nicklaus and Woods. Some of these guys have the potential to be great. Much like Seve, Faldo and Watson seemed somewhat ordinary then so it is for Rory, Jason, Jordan and Dustin now. It's hard to follow someone like Tiger.

 

But there are good players out there who might emerge.

 

 

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Still on that elusive hunt for a 3 wood that I'm able to hit - I don't know why, I crush the 5 wood and it's really a 4 wood anyway. 

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Here's the way I look at it:

 

1. Golf is cyclical and has multiple "generations" of the tour. It seems like they run in 20-30 year cycles. Since Quimet won the US Open we've gone on a national scale of ebbs and flows to the tour. Hagen/Jones, Snead/Hogan, Palmer/Nicklaus, Norman/Faldo/Seve, Woods/Mickelson. In my opinion these are the primary attractions to the tour of their day.

2. I think the definition of "good for golf" really needs to be defined. Golf the game has always seen participation rise when a couple guys perform significantly better and are more entertaining to watch. So from a viewer standpoint Tiger was awesome for golf and the tour.

3. From a golf course standpoint he was unfortunately detrimental (IE there was nothing wrong with Augusta National in 1997 and lengthening it has ruined the golf course). The concept of "proofing" golf courses against longer tee ball hitters is absurd. THE USGA DOESN'T NEED LONGER COURSES, IT NEEDS TIGHTER COURSES REQUIRING MORE ACCURACY AND LANDING ZONES (see Merion hosting the US Open from a few years ago).

4. Tiger had no impact on equipment cycles or a lot of the products that came out. He played Nike equipment from roughly 2001 to 2016. He was a guy that didn't promote needing new equipment all the time and if he liked something it didn't leave his bag.

 

Cheers

Burk

 

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Here's the way I look at it:

 

1. Golf is cyclical and has multiple "generations" of the tour. It seems like they run in 20-30 year cycles. Since Quimet won the US Open we've gone on a national scale of ebbs and flows to the tour. Hagen/Jones, Snead/Hogan, Palmer/Nicklaus, Norman/Faldo/Seve, Woods/Mickelson. In my opinion these are the primary attractions to the tour of their day.

2. I think the definition of "good for golf" really needs to be defined. Golf the game has always seen participation rise when a couple guys perform significantly better and are more entertaining to watch. So from a viewer standpoint Tiger was awesome for golf and the tour.

3. From a golf course standpoint he was unfortunately detrimental (IE there was nothing wrong with Augusta National in 1997 and lengthening it has ruined the golf course). The concept of "proofing" golf courses against longer tee ball hitters is absurd. THE USGA DOESN'T NEED LONGER COURSES, IT NEEDS TIGHTER COURSES REQUIRING MORE ACCURACY AND LANDING ZONES (see Merion hosting the US Open from a few years ago).

4. Tiger had no impact on equipment cycles or a lot of the products that came out. He played Nike equipment from roughly 2001 to 2016. He was a guy that didn't promote needing new equipment all the time and if he liked something it didn't leave his bag.

 

Cheers

Burk

 

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If I remember correctly he played those VR irons from the day they came out and never left his bag. He also wanted to keep them in there after he signed with TM until he could work with them to get irons he liked

 

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Depends on what you consider good.

 

Tiger is one of the best players to enjoy this game. No one can argue that. His prowess on the course was good for the pro's, they make millions thanks to him.

 

Equipment naturally was going to get better with or without him (I think). Just like cell phones and car technology it was eventually going to happen.

 

For the golf courses... probably was at first, then a large amount of them opened, closed, sold.. high traffic etc.

 

If you look at the driving averages of the best players over the years, they haven't really gone up a lot, but the length of the courses has gotten MUCH longer.

 

Tiger improved the TV appeal of golf, and brought some energy.

 

I think the powers that be let it get a little out of hand by allowing 8,000 yard courses. They are ruining golf by making it harder. That wasn't Tigers fault.

 

So in closing. Yes, Tiger Woods was the best thing for golf since Arnie was a young man, then Jack... there was just a HUGE gap in a "rock star" between them.

 

 

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Maybe I should rephrase the question, was Tiger good for the GAME of golf? No denying what he did for the popularity of the PGA and professional golf, but is amateur golf better off now than 20 years ago?

 

Now, I'm not suggesting the current state of the game is all on Tiger, nor was the housing bubble, obviously, but would all these courses built to 7500 yards have been built 15-20 years ago had the Tiger phenomenon not happened? Would developers have even entertained the idea of building courses into housing developments had it not been for the popularity of the game and Tiger at the time?

 

And while Tiger played the same irons and other equipment for years, did Nike's marketing machine and his new found fame lead to more and more equipment advertising and costlier player endorsements, which has lead to OEM's pushing new equipment in even shorter cycles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Of course he was. His foundation and the first tee have opened the game and donated millions of dollars to charity.

 

All the young guys out there are a product of tiger. Rory, Rickie, Dustin, Day, etc are out there in a large part because of him.

 

 

 

 

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In my humble opinion Tiger woods was without a shadow of a doubt the best thing to happen to golf....period. Every golfer today owes a debt of gratitude to two people...Mr. Palmer and Tiger. Mr. palmer brought golf to the public and Tiger took what he had done and brought it that much further. Without the two of them today's superstars wouldn't even come close to making the kind of bank they're bringing in now. Tiger made golf look cool, and ushered in an era of golfers that were more athletic, and stronger and in the best physical shape we as fans had not seen in this game we love so much. Tiger changed the way golf was played in its entirety. He was bold, brash, and admittedly intimidating. He made the people who had never even looked at golf before take notice and even brought the vast majority of those people to take up the game.

 

I'm inclined to agree with you on the way the course openings and closings were an affect of a huge boom in the game or "bubble" if you will. I don't however think it was solely Tiger's fault as it was greed for for some eager businessmen.

 

Tiger was absolutely good for the game, however, I'm curious to know, is he still. Is the fact that he has become more a mere mortal rather than than the unstoppable force he once was, the intimidation factor he once retained, the who's playing for second attitude he just doesn't posses any longer because the superstars of today came up aspiring to be like and beat tiger. The ones that spent countless hours in the gym as well as on the range to overtake his thrown. In today's game there isn't one dominant player over a decade, there's multiple dominant players.

 

I'm by far not a tiger hater. I'm a student of the game and love it with a deep burning passion and always have. I grew up as a very young tot watching the dominant players on the champions tour today, until tiger emerged, then I grew up watching him. I'm 30 on Monday so I was molded at the height of tigers career. I'm still a fan of what he did on course then. I'm a fan of what he's doing for the golfing community off course now.

 

Tiger WAS GREAT for the world in and outside of golf. Tiger IS GOOD for the inside of the golfing world.

 

-Rhino

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Is this all serious question? The answer is yes and there's absolutely no arguing against it.

 

Blaming Tiger's impact for they way other businesses ran things is crazy.

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Yeah, I mean, blaming Tiger for the housing bubble, overambitious developers and OEM release cycles is a bit much.

 

Pretty much industries across the board hit a wall in the late 2000's, so while Tiger grew the game, I don't think the spike in popularity was bad for the game at all.

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Tiger raised the bar. Forget about sales, what Tiger did was bigger than that. He was the Roger Bannister of golf. He showed how the game could be played and the field followed him to a higher level of golf.

 

 

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Is this all serious question? The answer is yes and there's absolutely no arguing against it.

 

Blaming Tiger's impact for they way other businesses ran things is crazy.

Yes it is a serious question. Would the game have been better off growing at a slower rate rather than exploding with the phenomenon that was Tiger Woods, drawing millions of new fans and people to the game which are now being lost and leading to articles written like "Is Golf Dying?"

 

And no, I'm not blaming Tiger for anything, but would the State of the Game be in a better position had the Golf Industry not gone for too much too fast? It's not what Tiger did, but what OEM's , developers and others did to cash in on the Tiger Phenomenon.

 

Would the game be in better position right now had Tiger Woods never existed?

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